Banaba leaves may provide other potential benefits, such as:
Anticancer effects. Test-tube studies suggest that banaba leaf extract may promote the programmed cell death of lung and liver cancer cells
Antibacterial and antiviral potential. The extract may protect against bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus megaterium, as well as viruses like the anti-human rhinovirus (HRV), a cause of the common cold
Antithrombotic effect. Blood clots often lead to high blood pressure and stroke, and banaba leaf extract may help dissolve them.
Protection against kidney damage. Antioxidants in the extract may protect the kidneys from damage caused by chemotherapy drugs.
Banaba leaves are rich in bioactive compounds that may lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, provide antioxidant and anti-obesity activities, and more.
Both animal and human studies agree that the use of banaba leaves and their extracts as herbal remedies appears to be safe.
However, their blood-sugar-lowering abilities may have an additive effect that could lower your blood sugar levels too much when taken with other diabetic drugs like metformin, or with other foods used to lower blood sugar levels like fenugreek, garlic, and horse chestnut.
Also, people with known allergies to other plants from the Lythraceae family — such as pomegranate and purple loosestrife — should use banaba-based products with caution, as these individuals may have an increased sensitivity to this plant.
What’s more, a study in an adult with diabetes and impaired kidney function reported that corosolic acid from banaba leaves may lead to kidney damage when taken with diclofenac.
Diclofenac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat joint pain, and corosolic acid may impair its metabolism. Plus, corosolic acid could favor lactic acid production, leading to severe lactic acidosis — a cause of concern in people with kidney disease.
Therefore, be sure to consult your healthcare provider before taking any banaba leaf product, especially if you have an underlying health condition.